Record-breaking season for Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park panto

Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park is celebrating a record-breaking year for panto – with strong sales already for this December coming.
The ghost gag with extra surprises - pic by P GurrThe ghost gag with extra surprises - pic by P Gurr
The ghost gag with extra surprises - pic by P Gurr

Beauty and the Beast concluded with a sold-out house, says spokeswoman Aimee Pugh: “Over 32,000 people came to see the show during its 5-week run, and as is tradition with the Eastbourne panto, the final night saw some surprises and pranks pulled on the cast as the delighted audience joined in!

“The cast, which included familiar faces Tucker, Martyn Knight and Carli Norris plus Lewes Roberts, Rebecca Vere, Brendan Hooper and Katie Cochrane, were kept in the dark over the secret show. Audiences were given a print-out upon entering, which detailed the tricks and changes to be played on the cast. These ranged from a world-champion plate spinner taking to the stage, an unexpected change in audience shout-outs and surprise special guests, including a menagerie of animals which accompanied the children at the end of the show making for a slightly different to normal singalong to Old MacDonald’s Farm – with special thanks to Petra from Luckens Shetland Ponies.

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“Backstage, bravely crew donned spandex and took roles in front of the scenery for one night only as extra support during the ABBA medley to the shock of Martyn Knight and Tucker whilst Katie Cochrane and Lewes Roberts also received additional support from a backstage crew member during one of their songs! A lost dame from Aladdin, Widow Twankey played by Chris Aukett, wandered on stage to take the spotlight from Martyn and totally confuse Tucker. Plus, an extra Beauty turned up to surprise everyone, especially Katie Cochrane who shared some of the night with actress Hannah Everett.

“Beauty and the Beast played 62 performances to immense audience acclaim. It marks the full return to pantomime at the Devonshire Park Theatre, the ideal venue for this feel-great show which is produced fully in house by the Eastbourne Theatres team. Next year’s production, Snow White has already sold over 6,000 tickets so for your favourite seats, book early! For tickets, call 01323 412000.”

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